With the super cold, dry weather outside and the dry heated air inside, our skin doesn’t get a break.
Are you noticing that your skin is dryer than normal or that you constantly have chapped lips? You are not alone! But, it may not be just the cold and dry air of winter… you may be a bit dehydrated.
Did you know that cold weather can actually increase your risk of dehydration? We normally think about dehydration only during the summer months when its hot outside. During summer it’s easy to remember to drink more water since we are hot and sweaty. But, during the winter months we still sweat (from over layering with our clothing or over exerting outside) but due to the colder and dryer weather it can vaporizes off our skin so we often don’t even realize we are sweating at all.
We lose water every day during our normal activities and by just breathing so we need to make sure those fluids get replenished regularly to ensure proper hydration.
Every system in the body needs water to function. We need it to get rid of wastes, normalize our temperature, lubricate our joints and protect our tissues. Did you know that up to 65% of a person’s body weight is water? Did you also know that it only takes a 1 – 2% drop to cause dehydration? Remember, by the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
What are some symptoms of dehydration?
· Dry, itchy skin
· Alteration of your mood, attention, memory, and motor coordination
· Fatigue, aches and pains
· Headaches or dizziness
· Decreased urination due to body fluid concentration (If urine is darker than normal, it’s a good indication that you are dehydrated as urine should always be light to clear.)
· Grazing… it may be thirst not hunger causing it
· And of course, thirst
How to stay hydrated?
First and foremost, drink water! Its pretty simple, you just need to make sure you are getting enough each day. A good rule of thumb is to divide your body weight in half, that is the total intake of ounces you should have each day. So, if you weigh 150 pounds then you need about 75 ounces of water a day.
You don’t have to drink all of it, you can get some from your foods. Most people get about 20% of their fluids from foods which is an easy and delicious way to get more fluids into the body. Soups are a great option during the winter months as they are nice and hearty but also increase your fluids. You can also increase water heavy foods like: Cucumber, lettuce, celery, radishes, tomatoes, green peppers, cauliflower, watermelon, spinach, cantaloupe, oranges, eggplant, broccoli, carrots, peas, just to name a few. This is another wonderful reason to eat more fruits and veggies! There are a ton of links out there to get your taste buds excited for more hydrating foods but here is a good one: https://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/healthy-drinks/top-30-hydrating-foods
Of course, there are many wonderful products (oils, butters, lotions, etc.) that will help keep your skin moisturized this time of year as well, but if you are dehydrated, they can only do so much and your skin will ultimately stay dry. Hydrate first and then use fabulous products second, your skin will thank you!
Here’s to a year of hydration! Protect your body and your skin by staying hydrated!